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Any banana bread fans out there?  I’m thinking probably so, this is the best time of year for baking and if you like banana bread you will absolutely LOVE this banana streusel coffee cake.  I’ve been making this delicious cake for years, almost my entire marriage, and it’s always been a favorite!  I’ve made it for weekend breakfasts, neighbors, and bake sales, you name it!

Since Christmas is less than 2 weeks away I thought this would be a great recipe to put out there.  It makes a great Christmas breakfast and it freezes wonderfully.  We’re going to be so busy on Christmas Eve that I won’t have much time to make food, so I’m going to freeze this entire cake and simply thaw it overnight Christmas Eve.  How simple is that?  If you don’t have any bananas go buy some right now!!  This cake tastes seriously amazing IF you use extremely ripe bananas.  No I’m not talking about yellow freckled bananas, I’m talking freakin solid black bananas!  That right there is the secret to this coffee cake having an incredible flavor.

Black bananas have a softer texture due to enzymes breaking the sugars down, which results in a rich almost buttery like flavor.  If baking with black bananas weirds you out, don’t let it.  My kids all grew up eating my baked black banana goods and they’re incredibly smart, great kids.  Maybe that’s the secret to having smart kids… it’s not breastfeeding, routines, or reading to your child that makes them smart… it’s feeding them black bananas!  Hmm…

If you have perfectly black bananas but don’t feel like baking with them yet,  throw them in the freezer, yes I’m talking the entire banana with the peel on.  When you’re ready to use just thaw them out and you’re ready to go.  I’ve done this for years.  Sometimes this causes a little liquid to form around the banana, it’s fine.  Don’t drain it, just mash it up, it’s all good.   My black bananas always smell so rich and fragrant!

I prefer to let my bananas ripen the old fashioned way – that’s forgetting about them on the counter.  You can hurry up the ripening process by placing them in a closed paper bag and storing them in a warm place.  The oven can help with this process too.  When my bananas start to heavily freckle and look ugly, yet aren’t black I place them on a cookie sheet and bake at my ovens lowest setting (170) until they are black or for about 60-90 minutes.  Just keep an eye on them, I’ve never tried this method with unripe bananas.

As for making the cake itself I recommend this bundt cake pan, it’s currently on sale too!  I’ve had plenty of bundt cake drama in my life and this is by far, hands down, my favorite!  Also be sure to grease and flour your pan, I have great results using Bakers Joy since it has flour in it, it helps when I’m feeling lazy.  Once out of the oven I let the pan cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Then to remove I place another cooling rack on top and gently flip it over.

Banana Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the streusel filling:

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs sugar

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs milk or water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, whisk together until all dry ingredients are blended.
  • In a separate large bowl beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating well.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in banana and vanilla.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture working in small batches, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour first.  Beat on low speed after each addition.
  • In a separate small bowl combine chopped pecans, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir until combined. Pour half the batter or slightly less into a greased and floured bundt pan.  Sprinkle with pecan mixture and then pour the remaining batter over the pecan layer.  
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan. Let the cake cool until it’s slightly warm or room temperature.
  • Combine sifted powdered sugar and water or milk in a medium sized bowl.  With a spoon drizzle glaze over the cake.

This cake freezes wonderfully, I freeze it with the glaze on it and everything.  For those who have nut allergies or just don’t like pecans feel free to leave them out, I’m sure it would still taste great.  Now go buy some bananas… go!

Shop some of my favorite kitchen favorites below!